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EPL: Rice, Jesus star as Arsenal beat Manchester United

EPL: Rice, Jesus star as Arsenal beat Manchester United 1

Arsenal defeated Manchester United 3-1 on Sunday, with Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus scoring in injury time.

The hosts got off to a brighter start in North London, carrying a direct attacking threat, particularly on the left through the brilliant Gabriel Martinelli.

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The Gunners should have taken the lead early on, but Kai Havertz’s connection with the ball was poor, and Rice also came close with a header.

However, the opening goal came from a rare United attack. Christian Eriksen intercepted a pass from Havertz and raced forward before slipping Rashford an inch-perfect pass into the channel.

After driving into the box, the attacker cut inside and fired at goal. Aaron Ramsdale, the Arsenal custodian, got a hand to the ball but couldn’t save it from hitting the post and rebounding in.

However, the lead lasted only 109 seconds as Martin Odegaard equalised almost immediately. 

Unsurprisingly, it was the result of superb play down Arsenal’s left flank, with Martinelli cutting the ball back to Arsenal’s Danish midfielder on the outskirts of the box, where he finished first time past Andre Onana.

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Rashford raced forward and shot again in the 39th minute, but this time it soared wide, while Bukayo Saka saw his attempt deflect out for a corner in first-half injury time.

Ramsdale had to be alert at the start of the second half to deny Anthony Martial at the near post, and Rashford’s follow-up effort was blocked by William Saliba. Arsenal were denied a penalty five minutes later when Havertz fell down in the box under the challenge of Wan-Bissaka, but after a pitchside monitor check, referee Anthony Taylor determined there wasn’t enough contact to award a spot-kick, as he had previously.

As the game entered the last 30 minutes, the Gunners increased their pressure, with Martinelli shooting just wide from the outside of the box, and Saka should have converted from Ben White’s low cross into the box, but Onana made an instinctive save to keep it out.

United felt they had won in the 90th minute when Casemiro sent a brilliantly weighted pass into Garnacho, who coolly tapped past Ramsdale.

However, the Argentine had gone frantically early, and a VAR assessment revealed that he was just offside.

It was a pivotal moment since Rice scored a key injury-time goal. From a corner, the summer signing controlled the ball on his chest and shot the ball towards Onana’s front post.

In a disappointing moment, the ex-Inter Milan custodian got a touch on the ball but couldn’t keep it out.

Rice’s goal appeared to be the game-winner until Arsenal attempted a counter-attack in the tenth minute of stoppage time.

To the pleasure of the home crowd, Jesus ran in on goal, laid down the desperate Jonny Evans, and then tapped it beyond Onana.

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